priority

noun

pri·​or·​i·​ty prī-ˈȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce priority (audio)
-ˈär-
plural priorities
1
a(1)
: the quality or state of being prior
(2)
: precedence in date or position of publication
used of taxa
b(1)
: superiority in rank, position, or privilege
(2)
: legal precedence in exercise of rights over the same subject matter
2
: a preferential rating
especially : one that allocates rights to goods and services usually in limited supply
that project has top priority
3
: something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives

Examples of priority in a Sentence

Reorganizing the sales force will be a top priority for the new president. Getting the work done on time is a priority for me. She decided to go to the party instead of studying? Where are her priorities? I know you want to buy a new stereo, but right now, saving for college has to take priority.
Recent Examples on the Web Addressing the quarterback position this off-season, whether in free agency or the draft, has to be the top priority. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Feb. 2024 The Biden Administration put support of minority businesses among its priorities. Rohit Arora, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 The priority for all of us at this moment is shows that can return that can stay on for years on end and build big libraries for us. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Feb. 2024 If elected, what would your top 3 policy priorities be?: (1) To protect our fundamental rights under the Texas and U.S. Constitutions (2) to restore confidence in the judiciary (3) to ensure that the judiciary retains its independence from the executive and legislative branches. Harriet Ramos, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 Riepe delegated his bill as his priority for the session on Wednesday -- a day before the deadline to do so. Margery A. Beck The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 15 Feb. 2024 The Los Gatos Town Council set its priorities for the next two years – including prudent financial management, safety, quality of life and traffic and transportation – at a special council meeting on Feb. 13. Isha Trivedi, The Mercury News, 15 Feb. 2024 Our priority is addressing the unique health challenges, including mental health, faced by individuals in custody, particularly those with a higher incidence of substance use disorders. Robert Legare, CBS News, 15 Feb. 2024 One of the highest priorities here in California needs to be better water management: building the dams, aqueducts, pipes, tunnels, canals, plants and pumping stations needed to provide clean, safe water to families and farmers. Gillian Brassil, Sacramento Bee, 5 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'priority.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Time Traveler
The first known use of priority was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near priority

Cite this Entry

“Priority.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/priority. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

priority

noun
pri·​or·​i·​ty prī-ˈȯr-ət-ē How to pronounce priority (audio)
-ˈär-
plural priorities
1
: the quality or state of coming before another in time or importance
2
: a condition of being given attention before others
this project has top priority

Legal Definition

priority

1 of 2 noun
pri·​or·​i·​ty prī-ˈȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce priority (audio)
plural priorities
: precedence in exercise of rights in the same subject matter
secured interests have priority over unsecured ones

priority

2 of 2 adjective
1
: having precedence over another in the exercise of rights in the same subject matter
a priority creditor
a priority claim
2
: of or relating to priority
a priority contest

More from Merriam-Webster on priority

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